Victoria condo construction site sees ‘ground subsidence’

A property developer working in downtown Victoria attributes the recent “soil crisis” at his construction site to the wetter-than-average spring BC has experienced this year.

Chard Development Ltd. said in a statement Wednesday that it first became aware of the landslide in the northwest corner of its excavation site near the corner of Cook and Johnson streets on Sunday, June 12.

“Teams were called to (the) site immediately to assess the situation and begin stabilization work,” the company said. “No structural damage was done to neighboring properties and the site has since been stabilised.”

A WorkSafeBC spokesperson confirmed to CTV News in an email that its officers attended the site and issued a stop excavation order.

Neighboring business Gemi Hair shared photos of the slide on its Facebook page, saying WorkSafeBC banned its employees from entering the building due to the collapse of the construction site.

The salon said it hopes to reopen on Monday, June 20.

Chard said her excavation at the site “followed the strict guidelines of certified geotechnical engineers”, and said she was not worried about possible additional collapses. “As always, our priority was and continues to be the safety of those on and around the site,” Byron Chard, the company’s president and chief executive, said in the statement.

“Our team of geotechnical engineers and other professionals – along with the owner of the neighboring property – worked quickly and collaboratively to secure the site, assess the situation, minimize subsidence and stabilize the property.”

Excavations at the site began in December 2021. Chard Development said an “early assessment” of the incident suggests unusually wet weather conditions were a contributing factor.

The site is the future home of the company’s Nest and Haven condominiums. Nest is a planned 12-story condo tower in Cook and Yates and Haven is a six-story building on Johnson Street.

Neighboring business Gemi Hair shared photos of the slide on its Facebook page, saying WorkSafeBC banned its employees from entering the building due to the collapse of the construction site. (Facebook/Gemi Hair Products & Gemi Hair The Salon)

Alice F. Ponder